Determinants of Intention to Disclose Musculoskeletal Injury in Adolescent Athletes

Document Type


Publication Date



Health Professions


Context: Although research indicates that the key to minimizing the effect of musculoskeletal injury, improving care, and mitigating long-term effects is to improve early injury care seeking, little is known about barriers to early musculoskeletal injury disclosure and care seeking.

Objective: To identify which determinants predicted sport-related musculoskeletal (MSK) injury disclosure by adolescent athletes.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Online survey.

Patients or Other Participants: A total of 564 adolescent athletes (58% male, age = 15.81 ± 1.8 years).

Main Outcome Measure(s): Online survey exploring determinants of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, injury knowledge, attitudes, perceived social norms, and perceived behavioral control surrounding MSK injury disclosure, intention to disclose MSK injury, and actual behavior of disclosing MSK injury.

Results: Of the respondents, 457 (80.2%) reported having sustained ≥1 (mean = 3.2 ± 2.2; range = 1–10) MSK injuries related to sport. Those who endorsed having experienced an MSK injury disclosed not reporting or purposefully hiding 77% of their suspected MSK injuries. Several factors influenced a high intention to disclose MSK injury. Specifically, for each unit increase in total MSK injury knowledge (Exp[β] = 1.061, β=0.054, P = .020, 95% CI = 1.031, 1.221) and attitude (Exp[β] = 1.070, β = 0.064, P < .001, 95% CI = 1.027, 1.115) score, 6% and 7% increases in the likelihood of a high intention to disclose an MSK injury, respectively, were observed. Moreover, for each unit increase in the social norm score (Exp[β] = 1.178, β=0.164, P < .001, 95% CI = 1.119, 1.241), an 18% increase in the likelihood of a high intention to disclose an MSK injury was noted.

Conclusions: Designing interventions geared toward increasing the knowledge of signs and symptoms of MSK injury, improving attitudes surrounding disclosure, and better understanding the social context of disclosing MSK injuries may improve MSK injury disclosure behavior and reduce the associated social and economic burdens of these injuries.

Publication Title

Journal of Athletic Training





First Page


Last Page


Find in your library